humility, he doffed his vestments and presented himself naked before his
Creator. What are we to conclude therefrom?
The flying monk resembles Saint Francis in more than one feature. He,
too, removed his clothes and even his shirt, and exposed himself thus to
a crucifix, exclaiming, "Here I am, Lord, deprived of everything." He
followed his prototype, further, in that charming custom of introducing
the animal world into his ordinary talk ("Brother Wolf, Sister Swallow,"
etc.). So Joseph used to speak of himself as l'asinelio - the little
ass; and a pathetic scene was witnessed on his death-bed when he was
heard to mutter: "L'asinelio begins to climb the mountain;
l'asinelio is half-way up; l'asinelio has reached the summit;
l'asinelio can go no further, and is about to leave his skin behind."
It is to be noted, in this connection, that Saint Joseph of Coper-tino
was born in a stable.
This looks like more than a mere coincidence. For the divine Saint
Francis was likewise born in a stable.
But why should either of these holy men be born in stables?
A reasonable explanation lies at hand. A certain Japanese statesman is
credited with that shrewd remark that the manifold excellencies and
diversities of Hellenic art are due to the fact that the Greeks had no
"old masters" to copy from - no "schools" which supplied their
imagination with ready-made models that limit and smother individual